How Many Ultrasounds to Expect During Pregnancy?

Ultrasounds play a vital role in tracking the well-being and development of a fetus throughout pregnancy. By utilizing sound waves, these non-invasive tests generate visual representations of the uterus, placenta, and fetus.

Numerous expectant parents often wonder about the frequency of ultrasounds that they will undergo during the course of their pregnancy. 

Ultrasound for pregnancy

First Trimester:

  1. Dating ultrasound: An ultrasound for dating purposes is usually done for women between 6 to 9 weeks of pregnancy. This ultrasound is important as it helps determine the expected due date and also confirms that the pregnancy is progressing well.
  2. The Nuchal Translucency (NT) Ultrasound is conducted at 11 to 14 weeks of pregnancy to evaluate the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome in the baby. 
  3. An early anatomy scan, which is typically done between 12-14 weeks of pregnancy, may be available at certain healthcare providers. However, it is not as widely performed as the anatomy scan that takes place during the second trimester. 

Second Trimester:

  1. Anatomy Scan (Level 2 Ultrasound): The most comprehensive ultrasound occurs around 18 to 22 weeks. This scan evaluates the baby’s organs, measures growth, checks for any physical abnormalities, and reveals the baby’s gender if desired. The anatomy scan is one of the most exciting and important ultrasounds during pregnancy.
  2. Fetal Echocardiogram: For those at higher risk or with specific indications, a specialized ultrasound known as a fetal echocardiogram might be performed between 18 to 24 weeks to assess the baby’s heart.

Third Trimester:

  1. Growth and Position Ultrasound: Between 32 to 36 weeks, your healthcare provider may conduct an ultrasound to monitor the baby’s growth, amniotic fluid levels, and the position of the baby.
  2. Biophysical Profile (BPP) Ultrasound: In some cases, a BPP ultrasound may be done after 32 weeks to assess the baby’s well-being by evaluating their movement, breathing, and amniotic fluid levels.

Additional Ultrasounds:

Apart from the standard ultrasounds mentioned above, additional ultrasounds may be conducted based on medical necessity or specific circumstances. These could include:

  • High-Risk Pregnancy: If you have a high-risk pregnancy due to factors like multiple pregnancies, gestational diabetes, or a history of complications, your healthcare provider may perform more frequent ultrasounds.
  • Follow-Up Scans: If an abnormality is detected during a routine scan, additional ultrasounds may be required to monitor the development or investigate further.
  • Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR): If there are concerns about the baby’s growth rate, your healthcare provider may recommend more frequent growth scans.


The number of ultrasounds you will receive during your pregnancy can vary depending on factors like your overall health and the specific needs of both you and your baby. This guide offers a general overview of the typical timing for ultrasounds throughout pregnancy. 

However, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the most suitable number and timing of ultrasounds for your situation. Ultrasound scans are essential for promoting a healthy pregnancy and offering reassurance to expectant parents. 

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